Our heroes explored the Temple of Boccob before resting that night. Alex found some interesting books to read in the Temple’s vast library. Meanwhile, the rest of the party visited the Temple’s magical archives and alchemy lab, which held a variety of magical potions and items for sale. After some bartering, the party walked away with two Cloaks of Charisma, a magical amulet, and some miscellaneous potions.
Morak also searched more areas of the Temple, but he did not tell anyone if he found anything important.
While asleep, Alex received a message from Boccob. The message was to ward the party against fire. So, that morning, Alex prepared multiple spells to protect most of the party from fire.
The bard also took some time to create a name for himself. He settled on the name Athnorelthon. Athnorelthon, Laralan, and Aust (being elves) were already awake by the time they were joined by Morak, Alex, Belfalcon, and Athnorelthon’s loyal Scout, Bill. The party ascended the stairs to the apex of the Temple of Boccob, where the altar they sought for the past month was.
Rightfully expecting a fight, the party spellcasters used a variety of spells to prepare for an engagement. Alex warded about half of the party against fire energy, heeding the divine dream. Alex then blessed the party, improving their odds in battle. Laralan empowered everyone’s weapons with holy power and accuracy. Athnorelthon used his Deck of Illusions to conjure up images of a powerful druid and Ogre Mage; he then used his Heroism spell to contribute to the group’s courage and morale. Aust reserved most of his spells for the coming fight.
When Alex began the ritual, a voice echoed on the sky, claiming that our heroes needed to prove themselves worthy of this knowledge. That moment, an adult Brass Dragon by the name of Ianroar Flamesbreath appeared and engaged the party in combat. The dragon was not fooled by Athnorelthon’s illusions. Some of the party members trembled in fear at the dragon, temporarily negating the courage that Athnorelthon inspired in them moments ago. Nonetheless, they fought.
Ianroar hovered over the party in the air. Athnorelthon opened combat by using the power of his music to inspire greatness in Belfalcon. Morak moved next, shooting the dragon with his bow. However, the dragon’s scales were too thick, and the hit was negated. Ianroar then breathed fire, and a ball of flame engulfed over half the party (fireball). However, Alex’s wards protected most. Alex was harmed, as Alex only sought to use the spell on other members of the party. Bill moved next, and managed to score a hit on the dragon with his longbow after moving around to gain a mobile advantage. Laralan then moved into the air using a combination of Updraft and Air Walk. Belfalcon readied for the dragon to come to the ground. Meanwhile, Aust sent his raven to deliver a touch spell to the dragon. Alex then proceeded to cure the wounds recently incurred by the fire.
Athnorelthon then inspired greatness on another one of his allies. Morak readied for the dragon to come to the ground. Ianroar landed on the apex of the Temple, and engaged in combat with Belfalcon and Morak. Morak eventually tumbled around the dragon and assumed a flanking position with Belfalcon, giving them the tactical edge and exposing Ianroar’s vulnerabilities beneath his heavy scales. Bill and Laralan continued to pelt the dragon with arrows, proving their worth through their deadly accuracy. Aust’s raven delivered the touch spell, Contagion, to try and infect the dragon with a disease. However, Ianroar’s mythical fortitude enabled him to resist the effect. Alex, then bestowed with Divine Power in combat, also went to engage the dragon in melee. With the many spells giving Alex strength, the quarterstaff struck the dragon, forcing it to give blood.
Weakened, the dragon attacked Morak, Alex, and Belfalcon in a rage. The party’s wards enabled them to withstand the dragon’s wrath, but some healing spells were later required to patch up the damage. Morak nearly slew Ianroar when he struck the beast with his trust daggers in the underbelly, causing the dragon to profusely bleed. Belfalcon and Aust steadily damaged and weakened the dragon, along with Alex, Bill, and Laralan. Knowing that the tactical advantage was lost, Ianroar took to the air, and breathed a noxious gas that made Belfalcon, Alex, and Morak fall asleep (cone of sleep). Being both immune to sleep and out of range, the elves were unaffected. With their combined efforts, the elves of the party easily knocked the bloodied dragon back to the ground in defeat.
Laralan immediately healed Ianroar before he died, knowing that his intentions were only to test them. Ianroar thanked him, and instructed the party to gaze upon the Tome of Understanding, which was now floating in the air above the altar, its pages humming and gleaming with a magical energy. A portal opened in front of the Tome and the altar, and through it stepped Roto Dragonsbane, the legendary Wizard who disappeared a year ago in 1011.
Roto explained that:
- He was gone from the material plane because he became a messenger and close servant of Boccob. Because he could dwell in the realm of Boccob, he had access to Boccob’s resources and was thus bound by an ancient pact that prevented the deities and their close servants from intervening in the affairs of mortals on this plane.
- Before he left, he learned of Prince Valerian’s (now King Valerian) trip to the Oracle. Roto questioned the Oracle himself and learned that Valerian plans to destroy the Spellfountain, the fabled source of all Arcane magic.
- To both learn about the Spellfountain and the location of a member of the Elder Council (of the Magocracy) who was imprisoned in another plane, Roto became a close servant of Boccob. In doing so, he unwittingly prevented himself from directly aiding our heroes in their quest to save the Spellfountain.
- He learned that the fountain is located in Voron, by the city of Fengar, and that the dwarves will locate the fountain in an underground dungeon in exactly 1 month and 3 days. He also learned that Valerian plans to destroy the fountain by using 3 simultaneous casts of the Miracle spell, which uses the powers of the deities on the material plane. The exact method of destruction is unclear, but it threatens both the existence of Arcane magic and perhaps the stability of the entire Material Plane.
Roto said that he can only indirectly aid the heroes from now on, and that his appearance to them was only possible because the trial of the dragon and the crazy quest was considered to be “indirect intervention.” He also bestowed gifts to the party:
- To Aust, Boots of Teleportation, usable once per day.
- To Laralan, a magical talisman that allows him to use Transport via Plants once per day.
- To Alex, a Sphere of the Winds, which allows use of the Wind Walk spell once per day.
- To Morak, a Ring of Invisibility, which is only broken by certain actions (spell duration, combat, etc.)
- To Athnorelthon, Boots of Shadow Walk, usable once per day.
The party used Sending to contact General Aramil of the Veiled Alliance. He scried the party and teleported to them in a few moments, and the situation was explained to him, after he warded the area against Scrying at Laralan’s suggestion. Aramil informed the party that their respective payments were in individualized bank accounts at the Bank of Ba’ren, which has branches in most major cities. He also reminded the party that King Valerian is a powerful divine spellcaster, and will pose a threat to everyone, including Aramil himself.
Aramil, Roto, and Ianroar said that if the party ever needed information, the party may use Sending spells, Divination spells, or personal visits to ask them for help on their quest. Moreover, they told the party that the nature of their quest must remain secret at all costs – the source of all arcane magic must be protected.
The next morning, Morak received a Sending from Antnar Xunaste, the assassin hired to go after Shade. It was noted that Shade and Duran Shadowblade were seen together near the town of Willowport, in the manor of the minor noble Leif Gundleson, whom Morak helped acquire a small fortune in the past. The sighting was a bit dated, but for all Antnar could tell, they were there for a while on friendly terms. It is assumed that while Shade and Shadowblade are near each other, they have split up and are not exactly together.
Our heroes decided to split up and cover more ground.
- Alex and Athnorelthon decided to journey together (with Athnorelthon’s followers) into the unknown perils of Voron. There, Athnorelthon would establish a base for his followers in the city of Fengar and seek to defend the Spellfountain once found. The two used their items to quickly travel to Norbond, where they could rest and use their spells the next day to reach the marshes of Voron.
- Morak and Laralan sought to tie up loose ends, and head to Willowport and finish off Shade and Shadowblade before they caused more damage. They both knew of the Tome, and they pose a threat to the quest. Using Transport Via Plants, the pair traveled to the Forest of Solitude, where Laralan first met Morak and Alex.
- And last but not least, Aust and Belfalcon teleported to Eolas, a tranquil Elven village on the Eastern Continent. Eolas is close to the Castle of Solace, which houses the all-seeing, all-knowing, neutral Oracle that both Valerian and Dragonsbane used to learn of the Spellfountain. Aust seeks the Oracle’s wisdom, in the hopes that it might shed some light on the party’s difficult quest…